The Other Quiet Revolution: National Identities in English Canada, 1945-71

By Potter, Simon J. | British Journal of Canadian Studies, May 2008 | Go to article overview

The Other Quiet Revolution: National Identities in English Canada, 1945-71


Potter, Simon J., British Journal of Canadian Studies


José E. Igartua, The Other Quiet Revolution: National Identities in English Canada, 1945-71 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2007), 352pp. Cased. $85. ISBN 978-0-7748-1088-3. Paper. $34.95. ISBN 978-0-7748-1091-3.

In this volume, Professor Igartua argues that, during the 1940s and 1950s, many English Canadians continued to see themselves as members of a British race. Then, in the 1960s, English Canadian identity changed rapidly, moving towards a civic nationalism based on ideas about collective rights. Ethnicity became less important. In order to support this interpretation, Professor Igartua surveys editorial comment in a range of Englishlanguage newspapers, looks at Anglophone school textbooks, and examines parliamentary political rhetoric. Attention is paid to debates that centred around a number of related issues and events, including: how to define Canadian citizenship; what claims Japanese Canadians had to Canadian citizenship and how those claims might reshape Canadian citizenship more generally; how dealing with spies raised questions about Canada's heritage of 'British' values of liberty; what days should be set aside for national celebration, and what should be celebrated on them; whether the Union Jack should be replaced in Canada and, if so, with what; what place the monarchy had in the Canada of the future; and how Canada should respond to the Suez crisis. The author contends that the debates stimulated by the reports of the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism played a major role in shifting the focus of English Canadian identity. …

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